There's really no better place for the future Obama Presidential Library than the South Side of Chicago, however, two proposals for a South Side library have fallen short of making it to the next round. The Sun-Times is reporting that developer Dan McCaffery's plan to bring the library to the former U.S. Steel South Works site and a Bronzeville community group's proposal for the former former Michael Reese Hospital site have both been cut from the race. However, University of Chicago's bid is still in the running.
McCaffery's bid was quite ambitious, considering that his Lakeside development could take up to 25 years to complete. If McCaffery's plan had advanced and was selected by the Obama Foundation, the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill designed library would have been something like a crown jewel for the $4 billion Lakeside development. No doubt, the Lakeside proposal would have been quite exciting to see come together, but the timing of the development's eventual completion just didn't seem to work in its favor.
However, the HOK designed proposal for Bronzeville was much more practical, and would have been a major win for the neighborhood, as it would have helped draw the musuem campus southwards. Combined with the upcoming Lucas Museum for Narrative Arts, which is slated to be erected just south of Solider Field, a Bronzeville Obama Library could have been a huge economic driver for the South Side neighborhood. Though it may not have been as flashy as the Lakeside proposal, the Bronzeville bid was certainly a respectable candidate.
At this point, the University of Chicago will advance to the next round, according to the Sun-Times. A previous report from DNAinfo suggested that a Hyde Park Obama Presidential Library could bring $220 million and nearly 2,000 jobs to the neighborhood. We'll have to keep our fingers crossed and wait until next week when the finalists are announced.
·Obama library: 2 Chicago sites cut from list; U. of C. bid lives [Sun-Times]
·Dan McCaffery Throws His Hat in the Ring for Obama Library [Curbed Chicago]
·HOK Unveils Obama Presidential Library Plans; Seeks To Expand Museum Campus South To Bronzeville [Curbed Chicago]